Does running a 5K sound like an impossible goal? If so, the Couch to 5K app was developed for people just like you! The Couch to 5K app can take you from a sedentary lifestyle to being a 5K distance runner in under two months.
The app gives you three workouts to do each week, and the intensity of the workouts increases over time. Over an eight-week period, you will gradually build strength and stamina, increasing your overall health and fitness.
How it works
To get started, you’ll log into the app, put on your headphones, and start the Week 1, Day 1 workout. You don’t need to look at the screen once you start the workout since the app will talk to you and let you know when to walk and run (don’t worry, the app also lets you listen to music on your playlist during your workouts). If you are curious about how much time is left during any of the segments, you can always look at the timer on the app. You’ll probably want to purchase an armband for your smartphone so that you don’t have to carry your phone in your hand while running.
For the first workout, you will start with a warm-up walk, and then alternate jogging and walking for a total of 20 minutes. By the last week of the program, you will be ready to jog a full 5K (3.1 miles) or 30 minutes non-stop. After you complete the 5K program, you can continue to increase your fitness by downloading the app for the next step: 10K.
Pros: Theapp is really basic, so you can just jump right in—you won’t need to spend any time learning how to use it. The app is free (available on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon app store), and if you want, you can pay $1.99 to remove the ads. It can be integrated with Nike + GPS and MyFitnessPal for added tracking. The app also has a strong Facebook and Twitter following, where you can share your milestones and connect with other runners.
Cons: It’s not the fanciest app—there aren’t many bells and whistles to it. The app’s audio coach prompts you to do your walk/run intervals, but it doesn’t really do much more than that. If you’re looking for additional motivation or insight about your progress, look into other apps that are better designed for that purpose.
Overall consensus: Runninga 5K can seem very intimidating, but this app can help you build the strength, stamina, and confidence you need to meet the 5K goal. Couch to 5K turns the daunting goal of running a 5K into a manageable undertaking. Just download the app and do your workouts outside or indoors on a treadmill. The key to building strength and endurance is to keep practicing and making small improvements over time, and this app does a great job at guiding you through the process!
If you’re a Health Advocate member with access to the Wellness Coaching program, reach out to your Wellness Coach for assistance with finding the right wellness resources for you!